Potassium deficiency

Constraint - Potassium 

Plant use

  • Potassium is a macronutrient

  • Potassium acts to regulate various metabolic processes such as water regulation, fixation of nitrogen, cell wall development, flowering and seed set, and weather disease and pest resistance

  • As such it is essential for correct plant growth and function


  • A pronounced chlorosis of older leaves, beginning with tip burn

  • Reduced plant growth, root development, and seed development 

  • Plants may be more prone to frost, disease, and pest damage


  • Yield penalty can be severe (up to 50% before symptoms appear)

  • If left untreated plants may die due to disease or insect attack


A soil test or a plant tissue test should be used to confirm potassium deficiency. Potassium-specific fertilisers can be applied. Insuring adequate moisture for effective potassium uptake; and liming acidic soils to a pH above 5.5 will also increase potassium retention in the soil. 







Links and Resources

DAFWA - Potassium deficiency

General information on potassium, what to look for in the paddock and the plant, what else it could be, where it occcurs, monitoring, and treatment.

DEPI VIC - What nutrients do plants require? Potassium

6.3.3. Deficiency symptoms and mobility, susceptibility of plant species to deficiency, the Potassium cycle, forms of potassium and thier availability, and methods of loss. Page last updated 2013.